Fans of the giggle water get to celebrate hooch in a big way this month as Preservation Nation covers blind pigs and juice joints – a.k.a. speakeasies -- as part of our historic bars series. Next up: The Backroom Bar in New York City.
The Backroom’s ‘fake front’ as the Lower East Side Toy Company is a nod to old New York City speakeasies that often used supposed apothecaries or blacksmith shops to conceal their true identity. Ironically, the Backroom’s Prohibition predecessor never needed a fake front, as Ratner’s kosher restaurant concealed the speakeasy with a legitimate and profitable business.
There are few places on earth, if any, that I enjoy sipping a few cocktails and drinking in the atmosphere more than modern-day New York City. But if I were given the chance to hit the town in the Roaring Twenties, I sure as hell wouldn’t pass it up. Lucky for me, I know a place I can do a little of both: the Lower East Side Toy Company, on Norfolk Street, between Delancey and Rivington.
That’s not the actual name, of course. It’s just the ‘fake front’ for the Backroom Bar, a contemporary speakeasy with roots that date back to Prohibition.... Read More →
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David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.